Six-figure works to shore up Exmouth’s sea wall given the green light

Exmouth sea wall

Exmouth sea wall - Credit: Archant

Six-figure seawall works to stave off ‘catastrophic’ large scale flooding in Exmouth have been given the go-ahead by the district council.

At East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) full council meeting, members unanimously voted to implement £400,000 works to improve the sea defences at the western end of Exmouth seafront.

A district council report suggested that if the work was not done, neighbouring properties, the seafront road and the Mamhead Slipway could be ‘under threat’ and could cause up to £6.7 million in ‘economic losses’.

The council hopes to recoup the £400,000 it would cost for the project from the Environment Agency and expects to recover most of the money under Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Grant in Aid.

Councillor Eileen Wragg said: “There is no question at all that this work must be done. There is a very serious risk of flooding to Exmouth and to protect lives and property, this work must be done.

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“The integrity of the sea wall has to be secured so this is imperative it is done.

“Those of us who can remember the floods of 1960 and boats being rowed through the streets don’t want to see that happening again.”

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Cllr Philip Skinner, the council’s deputy leader, added: “The last thing we need to see is Exmouth being flooded and if it was at a large scale, it would be a catastrophe.

“I want to get behind this and support. £400,000 in the scale of things is quite small in the prevention of a serious flooding issue that we all want to avoid.”

According to the council, recent investigations have shown that the sea wall could be further damaged during the winter and there is the risk that serious structural damage could be caused in storm conditions.

The council was told that as the site is within the Exe Estuary Special Area of Conservation, foundation works must be completed by the end of September as it may disturb wintering birds.

Works will begin on September 4, with foundation improvements completed before September 30 and the rock armour put in place in October.

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